on February 7, 2012
If you're looking for a review of the games themselves, I suggest looking up the original reviews for the games here; Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy Jak II Jak 3. I will simply be reviewing the new features for the trilogy package as a whole.
1. HD: The visuals in this game have definitely had a huge overhaul. The frame rate is a smooth 60fps, with hardly any hiccups or slowdowns. The character models look much more detailed and fine tuned. Environments look beautiful as well, and seeing many iconic locations remastered with detailed HD graphics can only be described as nostalgic. I hope they keep up the good work they've done with updating these PS2 classics when they make the Ratchet & Clank Collection.
2. 3D: For many, this won't matter since the number of 3D TVs in households is still a slim number, but for those who do (myself included) it's a feature well worth mentioning. They did a great job making the visuals really "pop". The multiple layers are well placed for dynamic depth perception. It' really been a joy to play the trilogy in 3D so far. You can adjust the depth to your liking, but I found the default setting to be just about right.
3. Trophies: If you're looking for a few challenges while replaying the trilogy, Naughty Dog's got you covered. The trophies range from challenging to pushover, but it's still been fun collecting them, as they have you doing things you might have otherwise never tried. The platinum trophy should give gamers a pretty big challenge to obtain, but with games like these, you'll enjoy every moment of the effort.
Naughty Dog's Jak Trilogy has long been a staple of the platforming world and replaying these games is a stark reminder why. It's a steal for $40, but for any less it's a must own! They just don't make games like these anymore, and they probably never will again, so it's definitely worth picking up a copy and reliving the joys of playing the original trilogy.
on February 7, 2012
I may be biased because Jak & Daxter is my favorite platformer and I think it paved the way for other great series' such as Ratchet & Clank. I've long waited for Jak 4 on the PS3 -- but Naughty Dog just revealed that "Last of Us" was made instead of a Jak 4 because the team ran into trouble while attempting to design it. But as they always say "never say never".
As for this collection, it's the next best thing. The HD visuals are definitely an upgrade to the originals on PS2 (particularly 2 & 3). Frame rate is smooth and the environments look great. I do not own a 3D television so I can't comment on that, although I have read that it is well done.
If you're a fan of the series, you'll be very pleased. If you've never played Jak & Daxter before, this is a perfect opportunity to enjoy the best platformer created IMO for $39. In addition, there are trophies to collect! Enjoy!
on February 7, 2012
Before I begin, let's get one thing straight. I am not reviewing any of the games right now, I am simply reviewing the quality of the HD ports themselves. The Jak and Daxter games are by far one of my favorite games in the world, so if you want to know whether I like these games, I do. I like them a lot.
Now. The games are still good, and still playable even against today's standards. But the quality of the HD port is probably one of the worst in the HD Remasters series. Elements that are present in other HD ports are missing from the port. The games run at a fluid 60FPS, but all of the Jak games ran at 60FPS to begin with. All previous framerate issues with the PS2 versions have been fixed, so instead of being a variable 60FPS, it now runs at a constant 60FPS.
A new Stereoscopic 3D effect was added into all three games for all of you people who own a 3DTV, and it does the job. It's pretty good for a simple conversion. But, as you'll read below, I feel like the need for 3D was unnecessary, and easily could have been put on hold so that more pressing technical matters could have been fixed first.
What can be considered a huge negative towards the quality of the ports themselves is the apparent lack of anti-aliasing. Previous HD Collections, such as Metal Gear Solid HD, God of War HD, etc., all have rendering resolutions of 720p. Jak and Daxter HD also renders at 720p, but it lacks the sufficient amount of anti-aliasing that the other ports have that really give the makeovers that fresh, satisfying look that we expect from a big collection. In MGS HD and GoW HD, jagged lines are limited to almost none. On the flipside, Jak HD suffers from many jagged lines that are plainly noticeable. Someone over at Mass-Media (the people who ported the Jak games to the collection) forgot that anti-aliasing is something of importance to these remasters, and the difference really shows.
To be fair, however, the lack of anti-aliasing is certainly an issue but it's something that's not noticeable when you're in constant motion in the game. You'll notice the jaggies when you're standing still or when things are going slowly, but the "natural motion-blur" that comes with the framerate will usually blur up all the jaggies enough so that you won't see them when you move.
Also present is a few rendering issues that come with Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy. Jak 1 did not support 16:9 resolutions, it only supported 4:3. In the collection, the aspect ratio was changed and fixed, so now we have a full 16:9 ratio. However, some foliage and details in the background seem to "pop-in" when they're outside of the 4:3 border. This wouldn't be a problem if the borders were there, except now they're not, so the player can plainly see those extra few leaves on the tree and a few boulders and rocks just popping in every time you move the camera a little bit. It doesn't happen too often, and usually it's not really noticeable unless you're REALLY looking for it, but the issue is there. Thankfully, because Jak II and Jak 3 natively supported 16:9 resolutions, no additional work was really required, and that problem is eliminated.
Overall, a solid 4/5. The collection itself is great; sticking 3 of the best PS2 games onto one Blu-Ray disc and adding trophies and 3D for just $40 is an excellent deal. However, the HD port themselves just seems rather lazy; it seems like Mass-Media just stuck the games onto a PS3, forced it to render at 720p, added 3D and widescreen to Jak 1 and called it a day. It feels sort of rushed, and as you play you'll feel like the port could have been improved so much more with just a little bit more time focused into adding something as simple as anti-aliasing to games that don't even use up the PS3's power. I can't really see a reason why the collection didn't use anti-aliasing in the first place, and thus, the port just seems sloppy and lazy.
on May 15, 2013
Edit (July 10, 2014): I wrote some more thoughts on Jak II in the comments sections of this review. If you are reading this review, please check out what I wrote there, for some fair analysis of the game. Thank you!
Sadly not in a new series, but this collection is the next best thing. In case it wasn't obvious, this collection includes HD remastered versions of the three original Jak & Daxter games, made by none other than Naughty Dog, of Uncharted (and Crash Bandicoot) fame. Now if you were expecting anything else, like the other JaD games or perhaps some bonus features, or maybe even *gasp* a downloadable avatar, you will not find it here. Pure and simple, the games (accompanied by the standard HD Collection menu and achievements...er...trophies, sorry) are the only thing here. Not even the making of video is included. Oh yeah, speaking of trophies, there are quite a few here as each game in the trilogy has it's own separate trophies (somewhere around 40 to 50 for each game). Yes that means three separate platinum's for trophy hunters. Also, most of the trophies are pretty easy to get, most of them (except for those precursor orb ones ): ) will be acquired by simply playing the game. Anyways, buying an HD collection for merely trophies or bonus content is a total waste, it's really about the games. So...
Are these games any good?
Jak & Daxter: The Precursor Legacy
An old school 3d platformer, this is a great game (possibly my favorite of the three) which screams potential for future installments (more on the irony of that in a moment). The Precursor Legacy looks and plays beautifully. Sure it's a bit graphically dated, but the colorful island environments look quite pretty regardless of age. Amazingly enough TPL (Precursor Le...oh you know) never loads. Every location flawlessly transitions into the next, almost making the game feel like one large level. No "door" tricks here guys, walk across a bridge toward a jungle and you'll discover that you just reached the next level.
I'll boldly proclaim it right now: THIS GAME SUCKS! Got that? Ok, moving on now
Ja-What's that? why does Jak II suck? *sigh*
Jak II throws almost everything about its...heh...precursor out the window. Jak and Daxter get warped into some strange Sci-Fi city, set in the center of an apocalyptic world. Poor Jak gets kidnapped by guards and is put under torture and experiments for years by an evil baron ruling the city until Daxter finds and saves him. Jak is now totally pissed off and vows for revenge (yeah, he starts speaking for the first time in this game). Together the duo Hijack cars and traverse the city and its outskirts completing missions for "the resistance" (Or was it the rebellion?) in hopes of eventually taking down the baron and saving the city. Oh yeah, Here's why it's horrible:
-Open world lacks interesting things to do. No exciting side missions (only boring ones), guards patrol the city and become extremely annoying when they chase you down, also driving around becomes monotonous and repetitive after playing the game for awhile
-Way to hard. Hard isn't bad, it's fun when done correctly. Unfortunately, Jak II 's idea of hard is so annoying that it actually interrupts and seriously injures the game. Frequently the difficulty would suddenly spike beyond whatever explanation I could possibly describe here and I would start dying over and over and over and over again. Now that isn't quite what makes things terrible, it's that Jak II's evil level designers decided there should be next to no checkpoints, meaning, each time you die, you will most likely restart all the way back at the beginning of a mission (said missions are usually quite long). It's so frustrating that I still feel tense and angry writing about it right now.
-Dated. this game hasn't aged as well as the other two. graphically, it may look better than the first game, but it often appears bland and dull. Unfortunately, the controls are the real issue here. Jak now carries guns and well, controlling them can be a real pain since, instead of a cross hair, the game uses a laser line on the edge of each gun to show exactly what it is being aimed at. Auto targeting is here too, to make sure things don't get too rough. Sounds good? it's not. aiming at what you want doesn't happen fast enough, and you'll shoot the wrong people or things often. Because of this the game is (yes, you guessed it) HARDER! Also, because the entire trilogy has inverted camera control, I had to visit each games settings menu to fix camera, so it would turn like it would in a normal, modern third person game. BUT, for some unexplainably irritating reason, in the second game (not in the first or the third), doing this causes the camera in first person mode to invert left and right. Ever tried turning left to turn right in a game before? It's very frustrating (and of course up and down are inverted too, but that's a standard for the whole trilogy). So yes that means, you guessed it, the game is EVEN HARDER! (shooting robots from a turret was never so minded-screwingly frustrating and, yes, hard)
There's probably more, but I'm done. No more complaining
Wonderful! The best game of the series, everything wrong with Jak II, besides the lack of memorable side quests, has been fixed. It's open world again, but this time Jak and Daxter travel back and forth between a desert (where they get to drive around in awesome dune buggys) and that city, which is no longer lame and annoying (no more guards hunting you endlessly, and no more long useless driving). There's a ton of variety in the missions, insuring that things never really get boring. Checkpoints are scattered logically and the difficulty has been toned down; However, Jak 3 isn't "easy", it's just right. There's a ton of new guns as well as a new Light Jak to accompany Dark Jak (oh, right, Dark Jak was added in that crappy second game). Now our hero can do cool stuff like fly (with wings) and freeze time. Also the hoverboard (yes, like Back to the Future Part II) is back and improved with the option to attack enemies (Yeah, the hoverboard was in Jak II). The story is interesting, but the gameplay is the real star of Jak 3
With all that said, is this collection worth your cash and time? Totally! The first and third JaD games are fun experiences that blend the platforming, action, and adventure genres together for a worthwhile purchase. I do want to apologize for lack of proper grammar (I'm sure the Jak II bit has some issues that I didn't look over properly) and for so much criticism.
on February 16, 2012
The Jak trilogy was games made by Naughty Dog during the early to mid part of the last decade. However this collection was not made by Naughty Dog but it was ported by a different company. Anyway if you have never played Jak then I would recomend to pick it up right now, cause these games are defiantly in my top 10 ever made. The genre that these were in is just about dead on this generation of consoles (except for super mario galaxy and very few others) thanks to all the first person shooters so this was a nice break to relieve my childhood and remember where everything was for the trophy s. Which speaking of trophys there is trophys for each of the 3 games and while the 1st is a mostly an easy platinum (except for finding every single orb in the game)the 2nd and 3rd games are very challenging to get all the trophy's for. The Graphics have been extremely improved expecilly the 2nd and 3rd games. The 1st has been improved a lot to but not quite as impressive but keep in mind that was one of the 1st good ps2 games. Anyway I'll have a short review for each of the games but if you have never played Jak and Daxter stop reading and buy it now.
Jak and Daxter-9/10 My first ps2 game also one of my favorite games of all time unlike the other Jak games this one is more like Super Mario 64 but better
Jak 2-10/10 Same as the first one this is one of my favorite games ever made and I know a lot of people like the 3rd better I actually preferred this one but this game is pretty much more platforming game and gran theft auto combined to make one epic game
Jak 3-8.5/10 this is a good end to the trilogy but I have only played this one a few times before and its they only jak game in this collection I haven't beat on ps2 which will change with this collection
on May 16, 2014
It was a real blast playing this game again. I spent a good portion of elementary and middle school playing the Jak games. The remastered edition looks great, but there are a few minor bugs.
whirlpools in the underwater lost precursor city are invisible. They still work, but you can't see them.
The moneybag mission glitched like crazy and I couldn't see where I was going; I had to use the radar to avoid crashing into invisible walls. I still beat it on the first try, and honestly it was more funny than annoying.
The metal head nest where you enter to do the final boss battle was not there the first time I got to it, it was replaced with a bottomless canyon. However, after plunging into the abyss once, it appeared fine when I went back to it.
Can't remember any bugs.
Another minor complaint:
the game was originally in 4:3 and is remastered to 16:9. Because of this, sometimes there are jumps you have to make where you can't quite see where you should be landing. It's minor, but Jak fell to his death a few more times than he would have otherwise.
Despite these flaws, I highly recommend this for anyone who wants to relive their childhood, or to anyone who has not played these games.
on June 9, 2013
Finally they make the legendary games of all time from the ps2 and remaster it for ps3. I always love Jax and Daxter and there trilogy, ive played all there game so many time when i was a little kid. This game truly does look phenomenal on a HDTV with HDMI. I did get bored though since i already had played these game too many times but i got it just becuase i was so excited to see that they had the trilogy for PS3. I recommend this game to any Jax and Daxter fans or kids that are already playing those violent shooting games so that they cant get there mind of those shooting games and play some old time shooting games.
on February 29, 2012
Nostalgia is exactly what companies are banking on when they re-release games like this. Having sold off this game a long time ago with my first PS2 I was happy to see one of the most charming platformers of last generation return. Obviously they can't change the very dated polygon counts, but the textures look sharp and after a while you realize how great these games looked for the time they were released. Worth buying if you like the series, personally I'm a bit partial to the first Jak & Daxter.
on January 10, 2015
I've always loved the art-style and humor from the first game since I first played it on PS2 and in that respect the sequels are certainly more of the same. I never played Jak II or Jak 3 back when they released.
Anyway, replaying Jak & Daxter: The Precursor Legacy was a nostalgic trip down memory lane. I personally thought Daxter was at his funniest here because he didn't seem as obnoxious compared to the sequels, and so when he did speak his humor stood out more. The environments are lush and varied; beaches, lava pits, dark spider-infested caves, snowy mountain-tops, an underwater "lost city", and so on. It isn't really too story-heavy but what story there is, is semi-entertaining and interesting enough to follow. The first game is mostly a straight-forward 3D platformer collect-a-thon with your occasional boss fights, vehicle segments and cutscenes. But it's a vibrant, colorful and quite enjoyable one. Most fans of this series I've heard from seem to regard this one the highest.
Jak II I just recently beat (and platinum'd) so it'll probably be the freshest in my mind and easiest to review now. The game actually has a decent story that has a few twists and eccentric characters. The platforming is also still great when there are platforming segments. It seems to have adopted several elements from the then popular GTA games like GTA III or Vice City. You travel to icons around the city of Haven to start missions. They introduced weapons in the form of guns, which overall makes the sequels actually feel more like shooters a la Ratchet and Clank than platformers, and you now have a "Dark Jak" form which you can activate once your dark eco meter is filled. This form allows you to hit harder and do a few special moves that you can purchase via "skull gems" dropped by most metal head enemies. Sadly, most of the game's strong points end there for me.
The city hub in Jak II feels far too padded out and is more frustrating to navigate than being fun. The checkpoints for missions are also very unforgiving, often times requiring a complete do-over if you manage to die. This can be overcome with some trial and error but it can just grate the nerves if you've almost completed a mission, and you just manage to slip up at the end and fall off into an abyss or lose your last sliver of health. Racing was also a pain, as were some of the combat-focused missions such as one requiring you to get to a certain location while endless swarms of cops and turrets descend upon you. Or killing three huge robot vehicles headed towards your base before they get there. There are combat/weapon tricks involved for most of these though, and I'd recommend looking up video guides if/when you get stuck. Some other missions weren't really that hard however, in contrast to what a lot of people led me to believe. The "protect the NPC" or escort missions were actually pretty easy for me. As was the on-rails turret mission which I managed I think on my third try. It just required some patience and very quick disposal of enemies as soon as they appeared. I ended up using an "Orb glitch" to achieve the full 286 required for the Platinum trophy, which otherwise would be near impossible for me seeing as you would have to get "gold" in the shooting ranges among other mini-game type stuff. Overall a solid game but due to most of it being frustrating I personally couldn't rate it any higher than about a 6/10. The first game was just more enjoyable for me and stayed true to traditional platforming.
I've only just started Jak 3 and so far, as many people will tell you, it's mostly easier than Jak II simply because of the more lenient checkpoint placement. Gameplay mechanics and mission structure are still very similar to Jak II, however. This one, so far, seems to have quite an emphasis on vehicular gameplay; races galore, driving through the big desert to rescue NPC's before the time limits run out, and so on. There's still platforming sprinkled in here and there but it just seems to be a more "driving-focused" game. I hear it gets better and eventually blends in more platforming as well as combat missions but having to drive around or ride those large birds everywhere can kind of feel repetitive. The story is otherwise solid enough and characters well-done. But I'm more eager to see what the game has to offer besides driving, and the occasional boss fight missions.
I will say, and I almost forgot, I actually enjoy the few sections where you get to play as Daxter. Aside from running from the spider in Jak II which was highly frustrating initially, the other parts where you get to play as him in Jak 3 are, thus far, varied and spicen up the monotony of all the driving and shooting you do as Jak.
Anyway, like I said at the beginning of this "review", I love the art-style and platforming (when it's present) of this series so much that I have to rate it five out of five stars here on Amazon. For all its shortcomings, it's certainly a unique series. I also have the Ratchet and Sly collections for PS3, but they haven't really grabbed me yet based on trying out the first games in each series. Jak & Daxter was just likable to me from the get-go so I tend to prefer them out of the three series. Maybe that'll change once I give them another shot after finishing up Jak 3.
on March 9, 2012
I grew up with these games, these were my childhood games so that may affect my review but here it is:
They were great games and I loved them. With this HD release I could not only complete the games again, I could complete all the challenges(achievements) which was fun to do. The graphics are amazing(Compared to the old ones.) Jake and Daxter was great to see, although it didn't seem as amazingly stunning graphically as jak 2 and 3, this was still a fun game that had many secrets and a great storyline with many twist, weird people, and funny jokes. Jak 2 is very different from jak and daxter but in a good way. The platform is back but with guns and flying cars. Its a longer game with many many more things to do and a lot more features. The story once aging is amazing with more twist, really messed up people that you'll remember for a long time, and funny jokes. Jak 3 a great game but to me was not as great as Jak 2. It had more guns, more cars, more missions, more jokes, however I didn't like all of the people in the story and the story had major twist which were great, the characters just kinda brought it down for me. Voice acting for all games are amazing. Since this does have three games with it, it'll take a long time to complete them all. If your good at platform games and try to skip as much as you can then the games will only take like 10 though or less. I completed Jak 1 100% so far and that took me 4 hrs 15 mins(I died a few times and missed a few orbs.)
Anyway Summary - Game:Great Story, Great Jokes, Great Characters, Great Game play, Great Way to create childhood/adulthood memories or just a fun game to play when you feel like a platform adventure.